Nobel Laureate tames 'talaq-friendly' Bangladeshi men

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Bangalore, Aug 19 (UNI) Nobel laureate Md Yunus today said he induced men in Bangladesh to transfer land to their wives by insisting that women own land to avail housing loans from his 'Grameen Bank.

Describing how he tackled this issue in Bangladesh where divorces occur in the spur of the moment and in a fit of rage, Prof Yunus, the brain behind Micro Finance, said the Bank disbursed housing loans only to women who had property in their name.

''To get the loans, the husbands ultimately relented and changed the 'khata' in the wife's names. This made it difficult for the men to divorce their wives though it could be easily done in Muslim society by just uttering the word 'talaq' three times,'' he said.

He said ''talaq'' menace would no longer work against lakhs of Bangladeshi women, who have availed housing loans from the Bank as it would be the husband who has to get out of the house if he divorced his wife.

Stressing the need to empower women in very poor families, the Nobel Laureate, delivering his speech at the launch of SBI ''Hrudaya Suraksha'' Scheme here, said the bank had disbursed 600,000 housing loans to help them get a roof of their own.

He said 97 per cent of the shareholders of the bank were poor women and most of the disbursals were in micro credit, helping the poorest of the poor families earn an income.

Prof Yunus had succeeded in convincing these poor families to take a vow that no dowry would be paid by a girl's parents and no dowry sought by a boy's father and mother. ''This has helped the poor families who are worst hit by this evil system.

This has also resulted in educating the downtrodden about the menace, he added.

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